21 September 2018, GENEVA – The World Conference outcome declaration entitled “Moving towards greater spiritual convergence worldwide in support of equal citizenship rights” reaffirms its commitment to the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights (hereinafter “UDHR”) to promote peace, mutual respect and understanding across civilizations, cultures and generations, Dr. Al Qassim said on the occasion of the 2018 World Day for Peace.
The Declaration was adopted on 25 June 2018 as an outcome to the World Conference on the theme of “Religions, Creeds and Value Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights” held at the United Nations Office at Geneva under the Patronage of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of the Jordan. It has been signed by Eminent Dignitaries and renowned world leaders from all over the world. In this connection, Dr. Al Qassim said:
“The World Conference outcome declaration reaffirms its commitment to the founding ideals of the UDHR and calls upon lay and religious leaders to advance the well-being of humanity and to promote global peace. It also appeals to decision-makers worldwide to recommit themselves to Article 18 of the UDHR reaffirming that ‘everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”
The reason for the adoption of the World Conference outcome declaration – the Chairman of the Geneva Centre noted – was the spread of religious intolerance, bigotry and fear of the Other in the West and the Arab region alike. “Discrimination against, and marginalization of, people associated with specific religions hinder the realization of social harmony affecting adversely the prospects and promises of diversity,” Dr. Al Qassim stated.
To alleviate these ominous trends, religious leaders and international decision-makers must harness their collective energy “to addressing religious intolerance in the pursuit of equal citizenship rights and in the promotion of global citizenship.” “They must capitalize on the convergence between religions, creeds and value systems” – he said – “to mitigate the marginalization of minorities worldwide and to promote peace, tolerance and co-existence.”
In conclusion, the Geneva Centre’s Chairman added that it is high time that all parties join hands to initiate a global effort to ensure that our equally shared humanity is reflected in equal citizenship rights. He called upon decision-makers worldwide to endorse the Declaration on “Moving towards greater spiritual convergence worldwide in support of equal citizenship rights”.
“I strongly appeal to international decision-makers to implement the three follow-up actions of the World Conference outcome declaration. The declaration calls for the periodical holding of an annual World Summit on Equal Citizenship Rights, the setting-up of an International Task-Force to review measures implemented by UN member States to promote equal citizenship as well as the inclusion of a special item in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) state report to monitor the implementation of these measures. The World Conference outcome declaration underlines therefore that the spread of equal citizenship rights is the gateway to world peace,” Dr. Al Qassim concluded.